We’re going to talk PLEASURE today. I’m so into pleasure right now. The more I say the word, the more I like it. Say it with me now….”Pleasure. Pleasure. Pleasure.”
And I’m guessing that even saying it is bringing a lot of interesting feelings up to the surface. Perhaps half of you is saying “Hell yah, I NEED some of that!”. The other half is saying “What is that again?” and the other half (you are so awesome that you have 3 halves!) is saying, “I don’t have the time, energy to dilly dally in pleasure; by the way, SOME of us have to work, you know!”
I’ve said all of those things myself so I get it. Stay with me now.
When I was a child, my parents’ view of pleasure was that it came after hard work. Hard work = reward. The completion of a task = reward. It worked well. Work hard. Play hard.
I took that idea into my own life as an adult. I would work hard and then reward myself. I would complete tasks and accomplish things and then I would do something nice for myself.
Using this formula in my own life, I ended up exhausted, depleted and depressed. But why? It took me some time but I finally figured out why WHAT MY PARENTS DID WOULD NEVER WORK FOR ME.
Because these days, the work is never done.
If we hold off on pleasure until the work is done, and the work is never done, then we never pleasure ourselves.
Get it? This is mind-blowing stuff. If I leave rewarding, valuing, treating and nourishing myself until all of my work is done, and my work is NEVER DONE, then I will never reward, value, treat or nourish myself.
This is worth repeating. If I leave rewarding, valuing, treating and nourishing myself until all of my work is done and my work is NEVER DONE then I will never reward, value, treat or nourish myself.
My parents’ days had endings. My father came home at 5:00pm and no-one texted or emailed him with more work to do. We could save the pleasure for after work because work finished.
Now, our work never ends.
So what can we do?
Try this on for size. What about if we put our pleasure FIRST? What about if we made sure that having fun, feeling good, nourishing ourselves, treating ourselves, valuing ourselves and allowing ourselves the pleasures we like was something we did BEFORE work? In-between work? Alongside work? As well as work?
What if we put our pleasure FIRST?
Hmm, yes, I see what you are saying. We would have to sacrifice feeling exhausted, angry, depleted and bummed out at the end of every day because there had been nothing fun, nourishing or pleasurable about it.
Are you ready to give that up?
Here’s a quick little challenge for you. At the beginning of every day, I want you to decide where the pleasure will be for YOU today. Will you take a walk outside at lunchtime and get a coffee at the place where the cute barista works? Will you wear something that you really love instead of just throwing on what’s easy? Will you make sure that you have an awesome playlist to listen to on your way to work? Will you get to that yoga class?
Don’t leave it until the end of the day. Don’t be satisfied with the crumbs under the table after everyone else’s needs have been met.
Pleasure yourself. First.
Just try it. I dare you.
Where do you put pleasure on your “to-do” list these days? Do you think it has a place in your life or do you think it’s just frivolous and selfish? Share your stories in the comments below. I’d love to hear about your thoughts.